i Cryptic Crossword 3357 by Wiglaf

November 10, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A tricky one from Wiglaf this morning; I started off well with 1ac and 3ac but then my first pass through the acrosses yielded only 28 and 29. 1dn had me confused as a typo in the dead tree edition has ‘Fiel’ as the first word of the clue (instead of ‘Fie!’) but at least the answer was obvious, and I had to look carefully at 5dn to see the colon between the x and y. There were a couple of unfamiliar/unknown words – CRATERLETS (not in Collins 2006 or Chambers 2014) and NOVELDOM (in Chambers but not Collins). But pangram hunters will have been satisfied – although I didn’t notice it till the fifteensquared blog pointed it out.

I had trouble parsing 7dn, thinking ‘topless German’ was (g)ER so couldn’t account for the second R. And I took a while to get 18dn since I’m not familiar with many American authors and Wolf is not an Austrian composer who comes to mind easily after the likes of Haydn, Mozart, et al.

I wasn’t sure if this should be rated 3☆ or 4☆ but seing as Knut’s offering yesterday, which I solved quite quickly, got 4☆ I’ll give it 4☆.

The surface of 3ac raised a smile, and the anagram for 12ac was ingenious, but for CoD I’ll go for 24dn with its suggestion of a reaction to a cold stethoscope being placed on one’s chest: ‘Intake of breath when visiting doctor’.

Back in 2017 RatkojaRiku was on duty to spill the beans at www.fifteensquared.net/2017/09/07/independent-9642-wiglaf/

7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3357 by Wiglaf”

  1. Cornick said

    A peculiar mixture of the very easy and the very hard. So not really the style of things for me. Hope others liked it though.

  2. jonofwales said

    On the other hand, this was my favourite puzzle for a while. 🙂 Satisfyingly chewy in places, with the unknowns (in particular 8d and 12ac) as fairly clued as you would like. I’d assumed my eyesight was letting me down at 1d (and I’m still trying to work out if that is an exclamation mark or an L), so glad I’m not alone. Lots to like, with my pick going to 22ac.

  3. Saboteur said

    A bit of a curate’s egg, I thought, some being write-ins, others requiring tricky untangling, and some being obscurities neccesditating about of research or checking. The latter for me included FAMILLE NOIRE, SYBO NOVELDOM and CRATERLETS. I took it on trust that there is an Austrian composer named Wolf, as I have not heard of him or her, although the American author was sufficiently familiar. I needed the prospect of the pangram to get KOHL.

  4. thebargee said

    At last one I managed to finish! Very enjoyable, even though as others have said it was a curious mix of the very easy and the downright difficult. I had no difficulty with 1dn as I was solving today on my wife’s iPad and the clue began very clearly with ‘Fie!’.

    The only one I felt I needed to check was 12ac, others like SYBO, NOVELDOM and CRATERLETS I just took on trust. Had I spotted the pangram (do I ever?) I would have finished earlier; my LOI was KOHL and it was only after I’d exhausted my knowledge of UK chancellors that I switched to the German versions.

    Lots of neat clues, but my favourite today was COLOUR.

  5. Willow said

    As others have already indicated, a mixture of easier and harder clues. Personally I don’t mind this, but several were very tricky indeed: 12,15, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 13 in my experience. I suspect the Young Solver would find them unapproachable. HL for House of Lords is hardly common parlance, for example, and the clue for ERRS required some convoluted thinking for such a small word.

    I originally entered FIELD MOUSE for 13, which held me up for a while until I realised 17 could only be COLOUR. No real complaints, though. I enjoyed this: it made me think, and I did eventually succeed in finishing and parsing everything, with a little bit of help from Chambers. Thank you.

  6. dtw42 said

    Pretty much what everyone else has said, re the mix of familiar with some distinctly weird words (I had marginal question marks against NOVELDOM and CRATERLETS … and the anagram at 12ac took ages to unravel) and some chewy wordplay, though I did finish by 9.15. My last ones in were 10ac and then 9d.
    In the print edition 1dn is very definitely “Fie!” – note that the lowercase L in this font has a little foot serif … but yes, the exclamation mark does have a very small space between the line and the dot so can easily fill in with ink.

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